I love my husband. I would do (almost) anything for him. So when he mentioned there was a teacher appreciation day and desserts were requested...I stopped listening and started softening the butter. He was on one of those three day military diets, so he wouldn't even be enjoying these goodies. It was the perfect excuse to try a carrot cake I had wanted to make for Easter, but never got the chance. The original cake recipe was from Canadian Living via A Sweet Baker, but I made a few adjustments of my own.
I was heartbroken to see the cupcake form didn't take shape. They were flat and ran together. When I tried to cut them away from the pan, the liners started to tear, the cakes were crumbling; I could practically hear his coworkers laughing! I saved what I could, decided to make mini cupcakes instead, filling them less. Fingers crossed, I sat on the couch with a spoon full of frosting. Mmmmmm... I felt better. The cakes were so moist, the perfect amount of spice and sweetness. Definitely cake, not a muffin. No nuts or raisins to distract you from its simple flavor. And the frosting was nothing short of sugary perfection. I want to put it on everything!
My kids loved it, the teachers loved it...I loved it! If only my husband could look past his disdain for cooked carrots, he would love it too; as much as I love him. So for my husband the teacher, my biggest fan...you are appreciated.
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 c natural, unsweetened applesauce
For the Frosting:
- 1/2 large package cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla (I used Mexican vanilla to compliment the cinnamon)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 c confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions for the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put liners in a mini muffin pan and set aside. Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add to it the carrots, oil and applesauce. Incorporate the egg mixture into the flour mix but do not overmix. Use a disher or small scoop to fill the cups so they are all the same amount. Bake approximately 18-22 minutes until the tops are just dry to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove the cupcakes from the pan to fully cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile make the frosting.
Instructions for the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attachment), cream together the softened butter, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Add in the vanilla and cinnamon and salt, scraping down the sides once. Sift the confectioner's sugar into the cheese mixture in one cup increments until fully incorporated on low speed. (Add more sugar to taste.) When the cupcakes are completely cooled, spoon the frosting into a bag (with or without a large piping tip) and squeeze the desired amount onto the tops. (Trust me...the more generous you are, the more compliments you'll receive!) Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, if they last that long.
Makes approximately 48-60 mini cupcakes.